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Mahmud Yesuf


Mahmud Yesuf

Assistant Professor

Professor Yesuf’s research interests include poverty, environment and development issues in low-income countries, with a special focus on households’ behavioral issues (such as risk aversion).

He has an international teaching and research experience working on various projects with the World Bank and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Africa. He will be teaching ECON 623 and ECON 624 (Econometrics I and II).

Get to know Mahmud and learn more about his experience.

MAHMUD YESUF: I was born and grown up in Ethiopia in a very big family. Just one of the 10 siblings that my parents had. And I did my own elementary and college education in Ethiopia, where I was born. And I left the country for the first time for a teaching program to Sweden. That was my longest trip in my life, the first longest trip. And then, I did my PhD and came back again to Ethiopia, hoping that I can help my fellow students in the university that I did my undergraduate in and graduate degrees. Basically, I moved to the US in 2009. Since then, I'm teaching again economics at AU.

I was attracted to studying economics when I was 17 years old, first undergrad student back home in Ethiopia. So, in our school system, you should choose your major at the very beginning of second year. So we had a rotation at the end of the first year. So, following that rotation, I thought that economics would give me the opportunity to better understand the world we live and work.

Yeah, in 2010 I think, I was involved in a project in collaboration with Kansas State University. And were trying to look at farmers' reactions on drought tolerant maize varieties. And Monsanto, in collaboration with the Gates Foundation, had a plan to disseminate drought resistance maize varieties. And we were doing a feasibility study to understand whether they will accept that variety and if so how much they're willing to pay for that variety. And that was conducted using some experimental techniques in economics.

I think, I love teaching especially teaching economics and econometrics. I'm so passionate about teaching and I had some international experience in teaching. You know, I started with teaching 10 years ago back in Ethiopia. I taught there for four years and then had a couple of visiting scholarship opportunities in Kenya and Sweden.

So I had this opportunity of teaching different people with different culture and different background. And I love econometrics because I feel that I'm quite confident and comfortable in quantitative, analytical skills. So, I don't think I can live in another profession. If I leave this profession of teaching, it's difficult.

By teaching in these different parts of the world, I had a lot of benefit personally and professionally because I learned a lot from that experience. They don't want to take from me also take from them. And sometimes we can come up with such ideas to our discussions and I learned a lot of so how to adapt myself to different cultures and to different backgrounds.

Usually, I spend my after school hours first with family and friends and also interacting with this big, large Ethiopian community in good times and in bad times, attending graduations, weddings, parties, and so forth.

View Mahmud’s Curriculum Vitae.

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